October 7th, 1920
We deal today with that portion of our third point in the letter on “Future Schools of Meditation,” which deals with the Personnel of the School.
This term includes both those who supervise and those who are under supervision, and the subject is necessarily large. As said in the earlier parts of this letter, the schools will be in two divisions wherever situated:
- A preparatory school for the earlier grades in occult instruction, and situated preferably near some large expanse of water and near some central city.
- An advanced school for the later grades, which will definitely prepare the way for initiation, and train pupils in occult lore.
As you will consequently see, the personnel of both schools will necessarily differ, as will the curriculum. We will deal with each type of school separately, and lay down certain fundamentals which must be looked for in instructors and instructed.
The Preparatory Occult School
This – to the outer world – may appear not so different from an ordinary college. The differences will not be recognizable at first to the man of the world, though the differences will be there, and will demonstrate themselves in the school work, to the pupils, and on the inner planes. The fundamentals as regards the instructors are as follows:
- The Head of the school will be an accepted disciple; it is essential that the Master, Who is back of the work of any particular school, should be able at all times to tap the consciousness of that school as focused through the disciple. This Head will be able to act as a medium of communication between the students and the Master and as a focal point for His force to flow through to them. He must be consciously able to function on the astral plane at night and to bring the knowledge through to the physical brain, for part of his work will be with students on the astral plane, guiding them to the Master’s ashram at certain intervals for specialized work. He will have to train them too in this conscious functioning.
- Under him will work six instructors, of whom one at least must be a conscious clairvoyant, and able to assist the Head with his information as to the auric development of the students; he must be able to gauge the colors and expansion of the students’ vehicles, and cooperate with the Head in the work of expanding and attuning those vehicles. These instructors must be on the Probationary Path and earnestly devoted to the work of assisting evolution and devoted to the service of some one Master. They must and will be carefully chosen so as to supplement and complement each other, and in the school will form a miniature hierarchy, showing on the physical plane a tiny replica of the occult prototype. As their work will be largely to develop the lower mind of the pupil and to link it up with the higher consciousness, and as the focal point of their endeavor will be the rapid building-in the causal body, they will be men of erudition, and of knowledge, grounded in the knowledge of the Hall of Learning, and able to teach and to compete with the trained teachers of the world universities.
- In every college the work of these trained seven men will be aided by that of three women chosen for their capacity to teach, for their intuitive development and for the spiritual and devotional touch they will bring to the lives of the students. To these ten teachers will be entrusted the work of grounding the students in the important essentials, in superintending the acquirement of the rudiments of occult lore and science, and their development in the higher psychism. These ten must be profound students of meditation, and able to superintend and teach the pupils the rudiment of occult meditation, as taught, for instance, in this book. Occult facts will be imparted to these pupils by them and the basic laws that – in the advanced school – will be the subject of definite practice by the would-be initiate. Exercises in telepathy, causal communication, reminiscence of work undertaken during the hours of sleep, and the recovering of the memory of past lives, through certain mental processes, will be taught by them, – themselves proficient in these arts.
- As you will see here, all these teachers will be devoted to the definite training and inner development of the threefold man.
- Under these will work various other teachers, who will superintend other departments of the pupils’ lives. Exoteric science will be taught and practiced by proficient teachers, and the lower mind will be developed as much as possible, and kept in check by the other ten teachers who watch over the proportional development, and the aptitude for correct meditation of the student.
- Along with all this will be the life of world-service, rigidly demanded of each and every pupil. This life of service will be carefully watched and recorded. One thing to be noted here is that in this there will be no compulsion. The pupil will know what is expected of him and what he must do if he is to pass on to the more advanced schools, and the school’s charts (recording the condition of his vehicles, and his progress and his capacity to serve) will all be available for his personal inspection, though to no one else. He will know clearly where he stands, what he must do and what remains to be done, and it rests then with him to aid the work by the closest cooperation. A certain amount of care will be taken in the admittance of pupils to the school, and this will obviate the necessity of later removal for inability or lack of interest, but this I will deal with later, when taking up the grades and classes.
- You have, therefore, ten superintending teachers, composed of seven men and three women, including a Head who is an accepted disciple. Under them will work a set of instructors who will deal largely with the lower mind and in the emotional, physical and mental equipping of the pupil, and his passing into the advanced school in a condition to profit by the instructions there to be imparted. Here I would point out that I have planned out the ideal, and pictured for you the school as it is hoped it will eventually be. But as in all occult development, the beginning will be small and of little apparent importance.
Tomorrow we will take up the rules governing the admission of students and the personnel of the more advanced school.
Personnel of the Advanced School
October 16th, 1920
…Today we will take up the personnel of the advanced school, and the rules of admission to both the preparatory and advanced. This latter part will be largely technical.
The first point I seek to make here is that these advanced schools will be numerically small, and this for a very long time to come, and the personnel will be correspondingly small… At the head of the school will always be found an Initiate of the first or second degree, the aim of the school being to prepare pupils for the first initiation. This necessarily requires an Initiate head. This Initiate head will be definitely appointed by the Master Who has the school in charge, and he will be – within the confines of the school – sole judge and autocrat. The risks of occult training are too great to permit of trifling, and what the Head demands must be obeyed. But this obedience will not be compulsory but voluntary, for each pupil will realize the necessity and will render obedience from spiritual recognition. As aforesaid, these different occult schools will be practically ray schools, and will have for their personnel teachers on some one ray or its complementary ray, with pupils on the same ray or complementary ray. For instance, if the school is a second ray school – such as the one in Ireland is purposed to be – teachers and pupils on the second, fourth and sixth rays will be found in it. At least one fifth ray teacher will be found in every school of occultism. If a first ray school, the personnel and pupils will be first, third and seventh ray, with again a fifth ray teacher among the others.
Under the initiate Head will be two other teachers who will be accepted disciples, and every pupil under them must have passed through the preparatory school, and graduated from all the lower grades. Probably these three will comprise the entire teaching staff, for the pupils under them will be relatively few in number and the work of the teachers is supervisory more than didactic, for the occultist is always esoterically self-taught.
Much of the work done by these three will be on the inner planes, and they will work more in the seclusion of their own rooms than in class room with the students themselves. The pupils are – it will be presumed – ready to work for themselves and to find the way to the portal of initiation alone. The work of the teachers will be advisory, and they will be available to answer questions and to superintend work initiated by the pupil himself, and not compelled by the teacher. Stimulating vibration, aligning the bodies, superintending the work on inner planes, and the pouring in of force with the shielding from danger by occult methods, will be the work, in part, of the Teachers, added to the supervision of definite and strenuous meditation. At intervals they will conduct the pupils to the Master, advise as to their passing into the different grades of discipleship, report at intervals on the quality of their life service and assist them in building their buddhic vehicle, which has to be in an embryonic condition when the first initiation is taken. The teachers likewise superintend the working out in practice of the theories anent the other evolution, the deva evolution, laid down in the preparatory schools; they watch over the manipulation of matter by the pupil and his demonstration of the laws of construction; they safeguard him as far as may be in his contact with subhuman and superhuman evolutions, and teach him to wield the law and to transcend karma. They enable him, through their instructions, to recover the knowledge of past lives and to read the akashic records, but as you will see, the pupil is the one in this school who initiates and does the work, superintended and guarded by the teachers, and his progress and the length of his residence within the school depend upon his own effort and initiatory powers.
The rules of admission into the preparatory school will be somewhat as follows, but I only indicate probabilities and not ascertained and fixed facts:
- The pupil must be free from obligatory karma and able to take the course without neglecting his other duties and family ties.
- There will be no fees or money charged, and no money transaction. The pupil must be somewhat self-supporting and able to earn the means of livelihood whilst in the school. The schools in both their divisions will be supported through the voluntary contributions of people, and through a knowledge of the laws of supply and demand occultly interpreted.
- The pupil must be able to measure up to the average educational standards of his day and generation and must show aptitude for some line of thought.
- He must be seen clairvoyantly to have a certain amount of coordination and alignment and the causal body must be of a certain grade or quality before he is admitted. Teachers of occultism waste not time on those not ready. Only when the inner light shines forth, only when the causal body is of a certain capacity can the pupil profit by the curriculum. Therefore, with the Head of the school will the final verdict lie as to whether a pupil may enter or not. That word will be final, and will be passed after due inspection of the pupil by the Head of the school through clairvoyant and causal vision, and after reference to the man’s own Master.
- He must have demonstrated, by a previous period of service, his ability to work in group formation and to think in terms of others.
- His past incarnations must be somewhat looked up, and the indications given through their study will guide the Head in his final decision.
- The pupil must be over twenty-one and under forty-two years of age.
- His etheric body must be in good condition and be a good transmitter of prana, and there must be no physical disease or handicapping physical deformity.
These are the fundamental rules which it is at present possible to give. There will be others and the problem of selection may pass through some vicissitudes in solving.
The rules for admission into the advanced school are far more esoteric and fewer in number. The pupils will be chosen from out of the preparatory school, after having passed through the graded courses. But selection will depend not on the mental development and the assimilation of concrete knowledge, but upon the inner comprehension and the occult understanding of the student, upon the quality of the tone of his life as it sounds forth in the inner world, upon the brilliance of the indwelling light, and upon his power in service.
This suffices for today; tomorrow we will deal with the final division of this third point, the buildings of the school.
Letters on Occult Meditation – Letter IX – Future Schools of Meditation
Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul